AccessMyLibrary provides FREE access to millions of articles from top publications available through your library.
Byline: LAURA GREEN email@example.com
Randy Stowers grew up in a small town in Michigan where everybody was white and few people worried about money.
When he came to teach at Sarasota County's Emma E. Booker Elementary School, where 86 percent of kids qualify for subsidized lunch, he quickly realized his students lived a disparate reality.
"It definitely is a different experience when you start realizing this student didn't turn in her spelling (because) they were evicted last night. So what's more important: that they were living in a hotel or that they didn't get their homework done?" Stowers said. "I came to realize that sometimes students in these situations have much more serious things to think about than kids should."
In poor schools, teachers need to balance their empathy with a ruthless determination that their students' obstacles won't keep them from learning.
But many teachers say they graduate from college with little understanding of how to do that.
Education majors say they often feel loaded down with theory, and have little chance to put it into practice. In many colleges, student teaching is almost nonexistent until after most course work is complete.